News / Calgary

Sound of siblings: Famed Calgary cellist family unites for one concert

Coming from a very musical family, Arnold and Estelle Choi join for a rare joint concert

Despite working with two different orchestras, musical siblings Arnold (left) and Estelle Choi will soon be performing on the same stage together.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Despite working with two different orchestras, musical siblings Arnold (left) and Estelle Choi will soon be performing on the same stage together.

Something about music hit the right note with the Choi siblings.

All four of them were introduced to musical instruments as children, and have become successful musicians. In a rare performance, the two youngest Choi siblings – Arnold and Estelle – will be uniting for a special concert this weekend in Calgary, where they were born and raised.

Arnold Choi is the principal cellist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Estelle Choi is a cellist with the acclaimed Calidore string quartet, which is based out of New York City.

There’s about a year-and-a-half difference between them.

Their older siblings played piano and a few other instruments, like the clarinet, so when Arnold came around, their mother decided they needed a string instrument in the house – so Arnold started his instruction in the cello.

“Once I came along, it just made sense for me to also play cello, because he would outgrow instruments pretty quickly, so I would get the hand-me-downs,” Estelle laughed.

“It was also easier for our parents to only have to drive to one teacher, rather than across town for a different instrument,” Arnold added.

Something about it stuck, and both continued their education through post secondary and beyond in music and the cello.

The brother and sister admitted they didn’t play music together as much as one might assume growing up. They were both very competitive.

It makes the upcoming performance all the more special. The event is in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Canimex Canadian Music Competition, and will mark the first time Estelle’s group Calidore will play in Calgary.

Because they have two renowned cellists in the group, the show will take advantage and play a number of famous pieces written for two cellos.

“There’s something very special about playing with your family, especially since the two of us studied with the same teachers,” Estalle said. “There’s something about it – maybe it’s the DNA – when we play together, I know what’s going to come out and creating a cohesive sound is very easy.”

The show will take place at the University of Calgary Rozsa Centre on Jan. 12. at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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